The events that have transpired in the Philippines since November 8 – the strongest storm in recorded history, the missing people, the death toll, the devastation – are unreal. There is no need to mention or reference the catastrophic consequences that have incurred; you’ve seen the media coverage. How this could happen to a resilient people is the question. There is no veritable answer, but I do know one thing…they need help.
There seems to be a lot of controversy circling the topic of aid in the wake of the tragedy. Dialogue on corruption, which countries have stepped up and which countries have not, what this news reporter said and what that news reporter said have surfaced. That shouldn’t matter. If we direct our attention to the incessant finger pointing or to the geopolitics of disaster relief, we’ll miss the bigger picture. We have an increasing responsibility to watch out for our worldwide brethren, whether they’re in our neighborhood or not. The internet and widening economies have broken down barriers, making us a globalized generation, a singular community, one unified people. We participate in world culture every day; our lifestyles prove this. We must help.
Shame on us for ignoring a long history of problems in the Philippine islands – a country already beset by multiple natural disasters and yet it took Haiyan for us to really notice. Better late than never, so let’s move forward now. Anderson Cooper – who visited after the typhoon struck – said this, “When everything else is taken away, broken and battered, soaked raw, stripped bare, you see things. You see people as they really are. This week in Tacloban, Samar and Cebu, amidst the hunger and thirst, the chaos and confusion, we’ve seen the best in the Filipino people. Their strength, their courage, I can’t get it out of my mind. Imagine the strength it takes for a mother to search alone for her missing kids, the strength to sleep; on the street near the body of your child…Maraming salamat [thank you] for showing us how to live.” Although strong, our Filipino brothers and sisters need a hand; let’s help them up.
I wish I could be there. You wish you could be there. Time may not permit, but like I said, our globalized generation has allowed for us to help from afar. In addition to local organization efforts – cargo companies are offering free shipping, establishments are taking in your donated goods (if you’re in LA, drop off at Tried + True Co. til Thanksgiving), and brands like Illest are giving all sales of specific items to the grief stricken population – you can help through the following:
And please, please, please, don’t fall for the Kony gimmick. Do your research and stay informed.